VOICE Walk is a step towards creating awareness about abuse in society. It was launched in 2013 as a brave initiative. In 2014 the awareness was widened by adding media coverage and in 2015 together with 3800 participants. We took a step further and launched “Safe House” for potential victims and we also opened a Pre-School, Day Care Center and Educational Programs for Children. This is being our 04th year. From now we want to take it another step further by networking all government and non-government children’s organizations to bring a holistic approach for children as well as to achieve the following objectives.
Purpose of the walk
The purpose of this walk is to make the SOCIETY, Citizens, and Parents aware of their duties and to help them understand how little things can make a big difference in preventing child abuse and regarding the current state of Child Abuse in our country. VOICE Walk is a step towards creating awareness different kinds of abuse in society.
Objectives of the walk
1. Bring awareness
Children are being abused and tortured in many ways in our nation and we should not remain silent, anymore! That is why we have decided to take a stand for the protection of the younger generation of our country. Last year we took a step forward and were successful in reaching our goal. This year we are trying to advice and raise awareness among parents about child abuse and let others know the facts about child related issues in our society.Networking with other active child organizations, government & non-governmental organizations in
2. Networking with other active child organizations, government & non-governmental organizations in joint effort.
Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything & quot;. George Bernard Shaw- Our key slogans we use, is “BETTER SRI LANKA WITH BETTER SRI LANKANS”. Unfortunately today many people speak of better a Sri Lanka and a better tomorrow for children. But seldom get involved with solutions related to it. Many people blame the Government, or other institutions for their faults and of things that are not happening, forgetting that it's our collective responsibility to be a better Sri Lanka. It's no point accusing anyone else for what is not happening rather we be the change that we look for. Hence our aim is to get government, private sector and the business filed to join hands together for a better tomorrow.
3. Open discussion and advocacy for
- Amending child related laws.
Many of the laws which relates to children are been made by people from the perspective of an adult who is looking from outside. But the question that we need to ask ourselves is does these laws and regulations create a better tomorrow for children. If these laws help
children to move forward or do they get stagnate in their potential and bring negativity, we need lawyers and experts in this area to help children.
To bring up policies that will help children and, to create, a better tomorrow for children. We are aiming to get ideas and thoughts of all networks and to bring up new policies to help children for a better and safer future Re-integrating residential care children to main stream SOCIETY According to child probation department children are supposed to leave residential care at age 18 having been considered as an adult. In many cases many of these children are not prepared to face the main stream SOCIETY and have no idea of the outside world and what it looks like. The reason for this is that they have been growing up all their life in residential care. They have limited Access to our side of the world. And in many cases children who leave residential care at age 18 are unprepared to face such challenges. Our aim is to get organizations to introduce a holistic approach in training them, so that they are confident to leave residential care. We are looking to bring up a holistic 5 year curriculum for the ages between ages 13-18. This will help the kid’s to prepare & look forward for the day they will enter into society rather than it been a surprise or a dread thing.
- Introducing AFTER CARE SYSTEMS
Every year there are thousands of children who leave residential care in Sri Lanka. Once again the question remains unanswered of what happens to them once they leave..? We are planning to open discussions on setting a system of after care for another 2y for children who leave residential care. It is not to re institutionalize them but for the relevant organizations to have a track of children for another 2y and to take up the responsibility of helping them to re integrate, and to bring up policies, that it's a must for them to report to relevant authorities about the children who leave residential care and to certify that he / she is being given the best care and opportunities.
4. Fund Rasing for ‘Safe House’ and ‘Dream Centre’
With all the funds that we collect we intend to form a foundation for child related issues and also to be able to spend the funds for children who are in the midst of financial problems. We are not only trying to raise our voices for the children with this need but we are taking steps on behalf of our future generation, as well.
- Launch Safe House: a project to prevent abuse and to help and safeguard underprivileged children
Safe House is a concept we have developed to assist and support underprivileged children, to enjoy their childhood in a safe stimulating environment. Safe House will be working in cooperation with selected children’s parents or guardians and other external professionals
including doctors, nutritionist, psychologist, teachers and counselors; to ensure that the best care and support is provided to the children.
The concept is very simple: Safe House is an establishment where the children would spend time while their parents go to work. During their time in Safe House their needs would be met while being equipped and empowered to enjoy their childhood on the journey to becoming responsible citizens without the fear of abuse and neglect.,
- Dream Center
There are many in our immediate community who are in need of their basic needs of food and clothes. The excess food in hotels and restaurants are thrown away daily. If there was some way of getting this food to those who are in need, we will not only minimize the waste but also feed a few hungry people. Similarly if a collection of clothes was made by generous donors which include used and nearly new clothes, these could be distributed once again to the needy. The Dream Centre vision is to feed and clothe those who are not having their basic requirements, and to be the collection point to receive aid and thereafter to distribute it.